When we think of the 4th of July, images of cookouts with friends, flag-filled parades, crowded pool parties, and bright fireworks usually come to mind. But due to circumstances beyond our control, this year’s holiday activities will definitely look a little different.
But while continued social distancing means that our gatherings over the long weekend are going to be much more intimate, that doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the nice summer weather while showing our patriotism.
With that said, if you’re stumped about how to celebrate while staying safe, here are some fun activities you can try to make this year’s 4th of July celebration one for the books.
Go on a “Social Distancing” Road Trip
After being cooped up at home for months, there has been a renewed interest in going on road trips to enjoy the great outdoors. As a result, there’s been a spike in RV sales in the last few months—leading to somewhat of a shortage—that has inspired some DIY enthusiasts to start their own camper van conversion projects.
Still, even if you don’t own an RV or camper van, as long as you have a vehicle that can fit you and your crew, you’re good to go. This long holiday weekend is a great time to pack your bags, get away from it all, and enjoy the great outdoors (and the beautiful weather) by hiking or camping.
This is perfect for those of you who haven’t gone anywhere in the last few months—road trips are a great way to go on vacation while maintaining a safe distance from other people.
But before hitting the road, make sure to do a pre-road trip maintenance check on your vehicle, especially if you haven’t driven it over long distances in a while.
Note: Make sure to check whether there are lockdowns or stay-at-home orders implemented in your state (or in any of the other states you plan to visit) before planning your trip.
Unleash Your Creativity with Patriotic Crafts & Recipes
Even if this holiday will only be spent with your immediate family, there’s no reason to skip out on decorating your house and making a fun activity out of it.
Keep your kids entertained by making your own 4th of July decorations at home. Let them get creative by making flag-inspired pinwheels, streamers, flags, and door wreaths. And if you’re running low on art supplies, why not try upcycling items around the house like empty bottles or cardboard boxes?
Now, what’s a celebration without some food? In addition to making some 4th of July crafts, don’t forget to whip up some patriotic party snacks. Go ahead and try your hand at a flag cake. Get your kids involved by handing them some piping bags and letting them decorate cupcakes, cookies, or even brownies in patriotic colors.
Not only is this a great way to make lasting memories with your family, but it’s also a fun way to bolster your kids’ creativity and instill some patriotic pride.
Hold a Backyard Olympics
Work up an appetite before feasting on some burgers and hotdogs by holding your own backyard Olympics. Try out games that you can easily do in your space, like a ring toss competition or a swimming race in the pool.
Not into athletics? Feel free to play other games that will foster some healthy competition while still being enjoyable for the whole family. Just make sure to tally your scores and give out awards (you can make these during your crafts session).
Missing the waterpark? Turn on the sprinklers and let your kids cool-off in the yard while releasing their pent-up energy.
Fill up red, white, and blue balloons with water and let the adults in on the fun. Spruce up your bikes with streamers and flags and end the day by going on a bike ride around the neighborhood.
Plan a Virtual Watch Party with Family & Friends
The best way to celebrate July 4th while social distancing is by setting up a virtual party with friends and family. But instead of just getting in front of your laptop and chatting with each other, why not plan an activity that you can all do together—like watching a patriotic movie or any televised 4th of July events.
If you’re celebrating with your family, your roommates, or your partner, you can also set up a video projector in the backyard or rooftop and stream classics like Independence Day, Top Gun, or Yankee Doodle Dandy.
Simply decide on what you want to watch together and set a time for everyone to hop on a video call as you watch from the comfort of your own homes.
If you miss watching team sports and you’re looking for alternatives to get your adrenaline fix, you might want to check out the first NASCAR-INDYCAR Tripleheader weekend in history. The 4th of July NASCAR and INDYCAR events will consist of the GMR Grand Prix, Pennzoil at the Brickyard, and Big Machine Hand Sanitizer races.
Put on Your Own (Safe) Fireworks Display
Most states are canceling their 4th of July events and fireworks displays to avoid large gatherings. Meanwhile, some towns are urging residents to watch from home via online streaming or by driving in and watching the show from inside their vehicles.
If shows are canceled where you live, you can put on your own fireworks display at home—if fireworks are legal in your area.
But before anything else, here are some tips to make sure you and your family stay safe over the holiday weekend if you do decide to go this route:
Check Local Fireworks Laws
Fireworks laws vary between states and cities. Be sure to check local laws to make sure that you follow all guidelines accordingly. This information is important so that you know where you’re allowed to light fireworks, which types are banned in your area, and up to what time you are allowed to use them.
Purchase Fireworks from Trusted Shops
Only purchase fireworks from shops that carry products that have been tested for safety and have been approved for consumer use by the state.
Before lighting up your fireworks, remember to read the storage and lighting instructions thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you need it.
Practice Basic Fire Prevention Measures
- Find an open area. Make sure that you choose a spot that is clear of any highly flammable materials like dry leaves, grass, and trees.
- It’s better to wear tight-fitting clothes and closed shoes. If possible, wear protective glasses as well.
- Prepare a bucket of water or keep a hose-connected water source nearby.
- Don’t lean over the firework while lighting it. Instead, light it from a safe distance with the help of a smoldering stick. Take wind direction into consideration to avoid accidents. Back away immediately after the firework is ignited.
- Kids below 12 years old should always be supervised while holding sparklers.
- If the fireworks fail to detonate, don’t attempt to re-light. Wait 10 minutes before soaking it in water.
- Soak all extinguished fireworks (including duds) in water and follow the recommended steps for proper disposal.
- On the off chance that someone gets hurt or injured during your 4th of July celebrations, seek medical attention immediately. Wait for professional medical advice before applying any ointment or taking pain medication.